Monday, September 5, 2016

1851 Certification that Seaman Isaac N. Sprague of Pembroke, Maine, is an American Citizen

Document inscribed on March 6 1851 by Daniel Kilby, Customs Collector of the District of Passamaquoddy, where he certifies that Isaac N. Sprague, an American Seaman and a native of Pembroke, Maine, about the age of 16, is a Citizen of the United States.

Isaac was about 5'6", with a light complexion, flaxen hair and blue eyes.

From brief online research, hopefully correct - corrections and/or additions gratefully requested in the comments:

Isaac N. Sprague 

Isaac N. Sprague may have been Isaac Noble Sprague (1834-1880), born 22 September 1834 at Pembroke, Maine, son of William and Tamar (Clark) Sprague.  

In light of the certificate above, it's tempting to think that Isaac might have crewed on one of the many vessels carrying hopeful miners from the East to the goldfields of California.  And, like many other seamen, at some point took stock of the situation and decided to try his own luck at finding gold rather than return East as part of the crew.

Isaac appears in the California Great Register of 1867, where he's listed as a miner in Rose's Bar Township. In the 1870 Census Isaac, shown as Isaac M., was living in Santa Cruz, California, adjacent to brothers Levi Woodward Sprague (abt 1841-1908), Cyrus Elwood Sprague (1849-1914) and Benjamin Franklin Sprague (1851-1913).  

On June 27, 1871 in Calaveras County, California, Isaac married Mrs. Hannah Burnham; the marriage, apparently, didn't last.

In the 1880 Census of San Jose, California, Isaac was enumerated in brother Levi's household and was engaged in farming. He died in San Luis Obispo, California, later that year, on November 22, 1880.

Daniel Kilby (1791-1860) 

According to a mention in Eastport and Passamaquoddy: A Collection of Historical and Biographical Sketches, compiled by Daniel Kilby's son William Henry Kilby (1820-1898) and published by E. E. Shead in 1888:

Daniel Kilby was born May 21, 1791 at Perry, Maine, the son of William and Mary (Wilder) Kilby.  Daniel served in the militia during the War of 1812.  He and a friend went from the mainland to nearly Moose Island on the fateful day when a British fleet arrived and captured Fort Sullivan, the town and the island.  After being searched, Daniel and his friend, and others, were let go.

After the war, Kilby became a shipowner and merchant.  In 1818 he married Joanna Hobart (abt 1800-1848), daughter of Isaac Hobart and Joanna (Hersey) Hobart.  

In 1849, President Zachary Taylor appointed Daniel Kilby to the post of customs collector for the District of Passamaquoddy. He served until the administration of President Franklin Pierce in 1853.  Daniel, who died on January 3, 1860,  and Joanna, who predeceased him in 1848, are buried in Hillside Cemetery at Eastport, Maine, with at least one of their children, Isaac Hobart Kilby.

From Eastport and Passamaquoddy: A Collection of Historical and Biographical Sketches:

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, please leave a comment.

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